Nutrition and exercise are important aspects of pain and symptom management in arthritis. Here are ten tips to decrease swelling, stiffness and inflammation in joints.
Arthritis may be a slight stiffness or occasional ache for some; for others it is a debilitating disease that causes pain and discomfort every day. Arthritis is a painful inflammation of the joints and can be caused by multiple factors including normal wear and tear, called osteoarthritis (OA) or by an autoimmune reaction in the body.
Autoimmune disease occurs when the bodys immune system malfunctions. Normally, the immune system attacks invaders into the body such as viruses and bacteria; in autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the immune system attacks it own healthy tissue.
How to Decrease Arthritis Pain and Symptoms
Arthritis symptoms and its effects on the body can be decreased with the right changes in diet, exercise and with medications as prescribed by a doctor. Here are some tips to reduce inflammation in the body:
Eliminate highly processed foods from the diet. These often contain chemicals, food dyes and excess sugar that can cause a sensitivity reaction in the body over time. Excess red meat and dairy may also cause inflammation.
Add fresh whole foods, nuts, grains and fish which provide the right nutrients for joint health as well as decreasing inflammation in the body.
In some individuals with RA, certain foods may cause symptoms to flare up; keep a food diary to identify these culprits and avoid them.
Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil and flax seeds contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which is very important in reducing inflammation, pain and stiffness.
Grape seed extract is also a good antioxidant to soothe inflammation at the joints. It also minimizes allergies and autoimmune responses in the body.
Other important supplements that are required for joint health are Glucosamine sulphate and Methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM).
Being active strengthens joints and maintains a healthy weight. However, avoid high impact exercise which can injure joints causing OA later in life. OA in the knee joint occurs often in joggers who are not aware they may be injuring their joints: wear supportive shoes and avoid running on hard concrete surfaces.
Low impact exercises such as swimming, walking and yoga help to strengthen and reduce damage to joints.
A home relief kit can further help ease your back pain .
In some individuals, colder temperatures can also cause arthritis flare-ups, staying warm and soaking in a hot bath can help stiff, painful joints.
Adding eucalyptus oil to the bathwater or rubbing it onto joints also provides a warming and healing effect.
Discuss all treatment options with a doctor. Though medications work best with other lifestyle changes, they may be needed to reduce pain and damage to the joints for certain lengths of time. A doctor should be informed of any supplements taken as well as changes to exercise and diet plans.